Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Day Before Christmas

The Day Before Christmas

Eve Bunting
Illustrator:  Beth Peck 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Clarion, 2000   ISBN: 0618051503

It is two days before Christmas, and Allie and her grandfather are going to see The Nutcracker ballet at the theatre. Dressed in their best clothes they take the train into town to share Grandpa's special Christmas treat. The two eat a picnic on the train and watch the countryside fly by. Allie knows that this may a bitter-sweet journey for her grandfather and she is not always sure what to say, for when her own mother was seven Grandpa took her to the ballet. Now Allie's mother is gone and Grandpa only has his memories of her.

As it happens the whole experience is a delight for Allie, who loves the ballet and the whole wonderful day. Better still, it is a day that gives Grandpa the chance to look back on his own memories with pleasure,  and he has the opportunity to create new ones with his granddaughter.

Eve Bunting creates a wonderful picture of a magical day in a child's life, a day that both resurrects old memories and creates new ones.